Category Archives: Stormwater
I am the proud owner of a sailboat and a kayak and boat often in the lower reaches of the Chesapeake Bay. Being a biologist and stormwater expert, I'm always aware of the quality of the water. My sailboat is moored at a marina on Chisman Creek, a tributary of the Poquoson River. The water in my boat slip is approximately 5 feet deep, and I have noticed during the last two years that I have been able to see the bottom of the creek just a couple of times. Most days, the water is cloudy (turbid), and I can see less than a foot below the water surface. Interestingly, the times that the water is clear occur mostly in winter. Continue reading
When I was in my mid-20s, I accepted a job in Nepal, working on a natural resources project. We were going to live in a village without roads, electricity or running water and manage a project that partially involved reforestation. We were to set up tree nurseries, replant forests and distribute some plants to the villagers. Continue reading
I sometimes wonder why I am writing about stormwater on a website that deals with planting more plants and what else should I would write about after my previous three posts on rain barrels. Actually, there is such a strong relationship between stormwater and plants that I don't think I'll ever run out of topics. Plants are essential to reducing stormwater runoff. By reducing stormwater runoff, we reduce the chance of flooding, the chance of erosion and the impact on streams, lakes and the Chesapeake Bay. I'll explain this in my next few blog entries. Continue reading
In 2010, the Chesterfield County Environmental Engineering Department and Friends of Chesterfield's Riverfront launched the Riparian Stewardship Program. The program encourages county residents to cherish and protect the riparian buffers on their land. Riparian buffers are areas of vegetation along waterways that protect water quality by filtering pollutants from stormwater runoff, preventing erosion and providing shade and wildlife habitat. Continue reading
If only lawns could talk, they'd be able to tell us everything they need to stay healthy.
For those who don't speak the language of lawns, the Henrico County Cooperative Extension Office will host the upcoming program, "Establishing a New Lawn - Renovating an Old One." This free seminar will teach participants how to build a new lawn from scratch or rejuvenate an old lawn in preparation for spring. It's part of the office's year-long series on lawn care. Continue reading
This is a continuation of Jan-W.'s rain barrel blog series. To read his other posts, click here.
After constructing my first rain barrel and talking with friends, I came to the conclusion I needed to make a few adaptations. The small spigot was OK, but it took a long time to fill a watering can. In addition, when I started to build rain barrels there was no easy way to connect a spigot to a barrel and making that connection waterproof. Friends of mine had been successful; however, somewhat frustrated by the low water pressure, they eventually connected a soaker hose to the spigot and told me it took five hours for the barrel to empty. This may actually be great if you need to water a vegetable garden, but they ended up emptying their barrel after one time. Continue reading
Harvesting rainwater has a very long history. The Bedouins practiced it in ancient Israel as was detailed by Michael Evenari in his book, "The Negev: The Challenge of a Desert." I read that book 35 years ago, and it has been one of my favorites ever since. Evenari describes the various methods the Bedouins used to harvest rainwater for domestic and agricultural use - by digging extensive canal systems on the slopes of hills to bring rainwater runoff to the cisterns that they had dug. In other cases in the Middle East, a channel system was used to divert water onto agriculture fields. The Bedouins are even one of the first people that used mulch to conserve water in their fields. Continue reading
In addition to proper planting techniques, watering plants is particularly important in the early stages of establishment. Water for our garden plants is usually supplied by nature through rainstorms or from municipal water sources.
Welcome to Plant More Plants!
We'll give you tips and information to help you create the best yard possible - both for your family and for the Chesapeake Bay.
As the largest estuary in the United States, the Bay is important, and its well-being is the cornerstone of the new Plant More Plants campaign. More than 17 million people live in the Bay's watershed, and many rely on its economic and recreational benefits. The Bay also is home to 3,600 species of fish, plants and animals. Continue reading